Islam and Honour Abuse

Over the last year, I’m delighted to have made some great strides mental health-wise in continuing to heal from some pretty painful life experiences. I’ve become stronger in my purpose of helping others who might need support in identifying, escaping and recovering from honour abuse, and I’m glad that people finally appear to be paying attention to the issues involved, although there is much work yet to do. There’s little doubt, however, that a great deal of this interest from many quarters stems from the fact that I am quite willing at times to link Islam to my story as a cause or reason for the abuse.

I was interviewed recently by a PhD student in criminal justice from the US, whose research on institutional responses to honour abuse will be used to inform policy there. I definitely do not include this lovely woman as being one of those parties who is only interested in hearing what I have to say for its reinforcement of prejudiced thinking. But she did ask as part of her pre-prepared questions (as it was absolutely right of her to do given the current political climate) if I thought honour abuse had anything to do with religion. It was, of course, a loaded question. Continue reading

9/11

Today is an important day. How we feel about this day as individuals and as a global community will dictate our tomorrows. There has never been a more urgent need to reflect upon, challenge and discuss the way we deal with human suffering. It is no longer enough to simply debate about its cause and consequence, or to react immediately with strategy or defiance. All too often we push down and block out the feelings that rise when we see another human being in pain, sometimes for fear that the emotions will overwhelm us, and sometimes because our feelings of powerlessness render us numb. Perhaps our own lives are too challenging to bear the acute suffering of another. But there are times, like September 11th, when it can’t be escaped. The following documentary revolves around one photograph that was taken on that day in 2001. It was of a man, representative of many, who was faced with immediate and certain death and the only choice he had left to make was whether he was going to burn alive or jump out of a window to die instantly on impact with the ground.

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